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The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2: first 18 months of science data products

Eldering, Annmarie and Wennberg, Paul O. and Viatte, Camille and Frankenberg, Christian and Roehl, Coleen M. and Wunch, Debra (2017) The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2: first 18 months of science data products. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 10 (2). pp. 549-563. ISSN 1867-8548.

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The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) is the first National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) satellite designed to measure atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO_2) with the accuracy, resolution, and coverage needed to quantify CO_2 fluxes (sources and sinks) on regional scales. OCO-2 was successfully launched on 2 July 2014 and has gathered more than 2 years of observations. The v7/v7r operational data products from September 2014 to January 2016 are discussed here. On monthly timescales, 7 to 12 % of these measurements are sufficiently cloud and aerosol free to yield estimates of the column-averaged atmospheric CO_2 dry air mole fraction, X_(CO)_2, that pass all quality tests. During the first year of operations, the observing strategy, instrument calibration, and retrieval algorithm were optimized to improve both the data yield and the accuracy of the products. With these changes, global maps of X_(CO)_2 derived from the OCO-2 data are revealing some of the most robust features of the atmospheric carbon cycle. This includes X_(CO)_2 enhancements co-located with intense fossil fuel emissions in eastern US and eastern China, which are most obvious between October and December, when the north–south X_(CO)_2 gradient is small. Enhanced X_(CO)_2 coincident with biomass burning in the Amazon, central Africa, and Indonesia is also evident in this season. In May and June, when the north–south X_(CO)_2 gradient is largest, these sources are less apparent in global maps. During this part of the year, OCO-2 maps show a more than 10 ppm reduction in X_(CO)_2 across the Northern Hemisphere, as photosynthesis by the land biosphere rapidly absorbs CO_2. As the carbon cycle science community continues to analyze these OCO-2 data, information on regional-scale sources (emitters) and sinks (absorbers) which impart X_(CO)_2 changes on the order of 1 ppm, as well as far more subtle features, will emerge from this high-resolution global dataset.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Eldering, Annmarie0000-0003-1080-9922
Wennberg, Paul O.0000-0002-6126-3854
Frankenberg, Christian0000-0002-0546-5857
Roehl, Coleen M.0000-0001-5383-8462
Wunch, Debra0000-0002-4924-0377
Additional Information:© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Received: 21 July 2016. Discussion started: 23 September 2016 Revised: 13 January 2017. Accepted: 15 January 2017. Published: 15 February 2017. Part of this work was conducted at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 Project. Work at Colorado State University and the Geology and Planetary Sciences Department at the California Institute of Technology was supported by subcontracts from the OCO-2 Project. Edited by: H. Worden Reviewed by: two anonymous referees
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 (OCO-2)UNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180306-103448109
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Official Citation:Eldering, A., O'Dell, C. W., Wennberg, P. O., Crisp, D., Gunson, M. R., Viatte, C., Avis, C., Braverman, A., Castano, R., Chang, A., Chapsky, L., Cheng, C., Connor, B., Dang, L., Doran, G., Fisher, B., Frankenberg, C., Fu, D., Granat, R., Hobbs, J., Lee, R. A. M., Mandrake, L., McDuffie, J., Miller, C. E., Myers, V., Natraj, V., O'Brien, D., Osterman, G. B., Oyafuso, F., Payne, V. H., Pollock, H. R., Polonsky, I., Roehl, C. M., Rosenberg, R., Schwandner, F., Smyth, M., Tang, V., Taylor, T. E., To, C., Wunch, D., and Yoshimizu, J.: The Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2: first 18 months of science data products, Atmos. Meas. Tech., 10, 549-563,, 2017.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:85134
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:06 Mar 2018 21:53
Last Modified:11 Oct 2019 22:51

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